What is the agenda? As David Suissa has put it, there are two planks to the platform: It is really, really, really, really important that Israel reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians... [and] the underlying assumption is always that the major obstacle to peace is Israel. Israel Matzav dug up a short video in which some participants at the conference said predictable things such as that Hamas isn't as bad as the IDF. It's the usual Mondoweiss fare.
This week also saw the publication of an 11,000-word article by the New Yorker's David Remnick, fawning over Haaretz and describing it as the best of Israel. I mention it here because Remnick's piece is a fine demonstration of how the J-Streeters see Israel; along the way it also shows why they're irrelevant for almost all Israelis. According to Remnick, Haaretz is alone in Israeli society in its willingness to face the reality of Israel's wars, its conflict with the Palestinians, its occupation of them, and all the things that are wrong with Israel's politics in matters of war and peace. Alas, he continues, not only are Israelis not willing to listen, but even most of the political left cannot abide with Haaretz, because, as he repeatedly tells, it lacks empathy with the Israeli side of the story, and refuses to offer any sort of consolation for their suffering at times of terror attacks. It's position is principled, and the principles cannot change merely because people are frightened, say, or bereaved.
The arrogance of Haaretz, of Remnick, and of the many non-Israelis who allow themselves this train of thought is always aggravating, but hardly unusual. Only once in the entire article does Remnick very briefly allude to a different dynamic: